Keywords: GCC, Gulf Cooperation Council countries, RETs, renewable energy technologies, RES, renewable energy sources, sustainable development, sustainability, alternative energy sources
Exploitation of renewable energy sources in the Gulf region: fairy tale or challenging opportunity?
During the last decades the need for development of Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) in the region of Middle East has been pointed by many researchers and policy makers. Considering the fact that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are well known for their large oil and gas reserves it is not surprising that the contribution of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in their economies has been rather limited. However, the existence of abundant solar and other RES in the region, within the framework of the evolving carbon constraint economy, gives the signal for the detailed elaboration of plans and integrated strategies towards the exploitation of RETs implementation opportunities in the GCC countries. In this regard, purpose of this paper is to present an overview of past and ongoing RES initiatives in the GCC countries, to examine obstacles justifying the low development of RES and to highlight potentially emerging opportunities for increasing the utilisation of alternative energy sources.